Changes to Farm Household Allowance make support more accessible

Changes to asset definition makes more families eligible for Farming Household Assistance payments.
Changes to asset definition makes more families eligible for Farming Household Assistance payments.

Changes to the definition of ‘farm assets’ to include items such as water assets and shares in a farming cooperative when assessing eligibility for a Farm Household Allowance (FHA) payment means more families can now receive it.

Previously such assets fell within the definition of non-farm asset, which has stricter assets limits.

The requirement to serve an Ordinary Waiting Period or Liquid Assets Waiting Period before applicants can receive payment has also been removed.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government wanted to ensure the FHA continued to meet its intent, supporting farmers in hardship to get back on their feet.

“This means more farm businesses in the New England Electorate will be eligible to receive assistance, with farm assets, such as water, being treated in the same light as other assets needed to run a farm business, such as land and machinery.

“We have acted where we can in the legislation, and work is continuing to improve the efficiency of FHA application process by the Department of Human Services.”

The FHA is designed to help farmers meet basic household needs and provides the opportunity to take steps to improve their financial circumstances, with the assistance of a case manager. More than 7000 claims have been granted nationally since the FHA was introduced, giving farmers access to one-on-one case support, activity supplements and income support.

For more information on the FHA go to 

agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/farm-household-allowance